I’m sure you’re dying to know, how does the manager of Technical Support get to work every day? It’s a subject that is filled with amazement and wonder. So, I’ll tell you…
No, my day does not start with a warm chauffeur driven Mercedes E class waiting in the driveway with a copy of MacWorld and a cup of coffee. My commute isn’t long enough for that, plus I don’t know any chauffeurs or anybody with an E class Mercedes, not from this century at least.
If it’s not pouring down rain I’ll probably fire up my scooter or my motorcycle for my ride in. For the last 3 years I’ve been scootering to work. I have always wanted to have a motorcycle, but not until I was an adult and had my life insurance paid up. Actually it was after I sold my race car and got out of racing that I felt a need to have some more thrill in my life.
I currently own a 2002 Bajaj Legend scooter, which is essentially a Vespa made in India. It is 150cc, has a whopping 9 horsepower and 4 gears and will haul me up to 100 miles on a gallon of gas. Even though it is a 2002, it’s very much old school technology. It has manual gears, drum brakes and a kick starter. I consider it to be about the best $1800 I have ever spent. My scooter will easily haul two people and I’ve put racks on it so I can load it up with additional supplies (cases of Rockstar Energy Drink, pizzas, take out Mexican food, etc). I’ve hauled many a department lunch on my scooter.
Learning to ride the scooter wasn’t too hard, but as any commuter on 2 wheels (motorized or not) will tell you, the biggest challenge has been the other commuters on 4 or more wheels. To help keep me safe I’ve got a nice full face helmet (I’m partial to eating solid foods), leather gloves, a jacket with elbow, shoulder and back plates, rain paints with pads and sturdy Doc Martin boots. Even though I’m on something with less power than many riding lawnmowers, I still armor up because, pavement hurts.
I love riding in on two wheels because it gives me time to just feel the wind, smell the smells of Portland and get a little thrill doing what, to many people, is the basic mundane task of driving to work. I don’t listen to music, I don’t wear a Bluetooth headset, I don’t eat and drive, I don’t fix my hair, nothing. I don’t do anything but grip the handlebars, watch for people in other vehicles, and swerve around potholes.
On days where I want a bit more rugged feel, I’ll fire up my vintage 1975 Yamaha Enduro DT250B (basically a street legal dirt bike) and ride that in. That has been my latest project. I bought it from the original owner who had it stored in a barn for 20+ years. It has about 2000 miles, it’s orange, it’s loud and it’s stinky. It also doesn’t like to go much faster than 50mph. Eventually I will probably ship this bike to a friend of mine that lives in Pahrump, Nevada where it can spend the rest of its life riding around the California / Nevada border area.
Here at Extensis we have a number of people that commute on 2 wheels. We have 2 engineers with motorcycles, Jim with his cruiser bike and a host of others that ride on pedal power. Jim and the engineers keep saying that when I get a motorcycle that can actually go freeway speeds, I’m welcome to go for a ride with them on the weekends.
We’ll see, maybe later this summer I’ll get something bigger, but for now, I’m happy as a clam enjoying the world at a top speed of 60 miles per hour.